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Australia charges investment banks with alleged cartel activity

HONG KONG ( ) – Australia’s anti-cartel laws have come to global attention with the country’s competition watchdog lodging criminal charges for alleged cartel behavior against two global investment banks, in a move one expert called “almost unique”.

Deutsche Bank AG and Citigroup Inc denied wrongdoing, with the latter saying the regulator was effectively criminalizing practices long seen as the norm in the financial industry.

Banking expert Andrew Grant at the University of Sydney Business School said the move was “almost unique” in Australian corporate history and indicated prosecutors had a high level of confidence in their case.

The charges, which can carry hefty fines and 10-year prison terms, could lead to changes in the way institutional capital raisings are handled, and do further damage to the reputation of Australian lenders already mired in scandal.

WHAT HAPPENED?

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on ,夜上海论坛Barrett,Friday said federal prosecutors would charge Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ), Deutsche and Citi. Criminal charges were also laid against several current and former senior executives at the three banks.

The Commission said the charges involve alleged cartel arrangements related to trading ANZ stock after an ANZ institutional share placement underwritten by Deutsche and Citi in August 2015.

ANZ, Deutsche and Citi said they expect to be charged and denied wrongdoing. JPMorgan Chase & Co, which also acted as underwriter, has not been charged and declined to comment.

WAS THE ANNOUNCEMENT A SURPRISE?

The ACCC has been working toward a significant criminal prosecution over cartel behavior for a number of years. In February, Chairman Rod Sims in a speech said the Commission had five referrals with Australian prosecutors and a portfolio of investigations that were at an advanced stage.

The surprise was the ACCC had been looking at investment banks. Most other Commission investigations into cartels have looked at trade in goods. The first cartel pros,上海凤楼夜网Larissa,ecution in modern Australian history was in 2017 involving collusion among上海夜生活论坛 Japanese vehicle shippers from 2009 through 2012..

Prior to that, the only other cartel criminal prosecution in Australia took place in 1908 and involved coal miners.

ARE A,上海夜生活男人好去处Easton,USTRALIA’S CARTEL LAWS SO DIFFERENT FROM ELSEWHERE?

No, not really, said Stephen Corones, emeritus professor of law at Queensland University of Technology.

“I don’t think it is true to say that Australia’s cartel laws are stricter than those of the U.S. and the EU. All three jurisdictions impose criminal sanctions and jail terms of up to 10 years for cartel offences,” Corones said.

However, the power to push for charges is newer in Australia as cartel conduct was only criminalized in 2009. Since then, the Commission has built a team of investigators with the intention of taking tougher action.

In addition, recommendations from a Competition Policy Review panel were passed into law in 2017 which, Sims said, “position the ACCC better to protect competition and consumer interests in a time of unprecedented technological change”.

HAS THE COMMISSION INCREASED POLICING OF CARTELS?

Yes it has, said Christopher Hewitt, consultant counsel at Moulis Legal.

“While there is no major difference between Australian rules around cartels and those in other jurisdictions, the ACCC has shown in the last few years that it is much more willing to use the powers it has and push for higher fines and criminal charges,” Hewitt said.

In April, for example, the Federal Court of Australia raised a fine imposed on airline booking agency Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd by 14 percent to A$12.5 million ($9.54 million), after the Commission appealed against the initial fine which it said was “inadequate to achieve a strong deterrence”.

“I don’t see any let up in this,” said Hewitt. “And with the ongoing Royal Commission (into financial sector misconduct), the pressure to take action against banks is even greater.”

UAW accuses Musk of threatening Tesla workers over unionization

( ) – The United Auto Workers union (UAW) has filed a complaint accusing Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk of illegally threatening to take away benefits from workers who join the union.

The UAW, which is seeking to represent workers at Tesla’s facility in Fremont, California, filed the complaint with the National Labor Relations Board late on Wednesday.

Musk in a tweet on Monday said there was nothing stopping Tesla workers from joining a union, but “why pay union dues & give up stock options for,上海夜网官方网站Daisy, nothing?”

The union says Musk violated the National Labor Relations Act, which prohibits employers from making threats or promises to workers to discourage them from joining unions.

Tesla in a statement said Musk’s comment simply recognized that other automakers whose,上海高端夜生活在那里Fabian, workers are represented by the UAW do not provide stock options.

“UAW organizers have consistently dismissed the value of Tesla equity as part of our compensation package,” the company said.

In a separate tweet, Musk accused the UAW of driving General Motors and Chrysler to bankruptcy and losing “200,000+ jobs for people they were supposed to protect.”

He was apparently referring to effects of the crisis in the U.上海夜网S. auto industry in 2008-2010.

UAW President Dennis Williams during a press briefing in Detroit on Thursday called Musk’s comments “ridiculous.”

“I don’t know what the hell Musk is up to,” Williams said. “Sometimes I scratch my head.”

The new complaint is the latest salvo in an ongoing legal battle between Tesla and the UAW, which has accused the company of utilizing a series of unlawful tactics to thwart unionizing.

In August, based on a separate UAW complaint, the NLRB found that Tesla had violated workers’ rights by requiring them to sign a confidentiality agreement that could bar them from talking about their working conditions and s,上海夜网千花Balthazar,afety issues at the California plant.

In October, the UAW filed yet another complaint with the NLRB accusing Tesla of firing 400 workers who supported the union’s campaign. The electric carmaker is also facing lawsuits accusing it of discriminating against black, gay, and older workers. Tesla has denied those claims.

Williams told reporters that a decision on when to hold a unionization vote at the Tesla plant will not come until a new UAW president is seated later this year.

A challenge for the union and its organizers has been the high rate of worker turnover at Tesla.

Bid to block U.S. arms sale to Saudis faces tough opposition

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Senate will vote上海夜生活 on Wednesday on a measure to block the sale of tanks and other military equipment worth $1.15 billion to Saudi Arabia, but the measure is not expected to pass despite lawmakers’ growing frustration with the longtime U.S. ally.

The Senate’s Republican Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, said on Tuesday he would “aggressively” oppose the effort.

“I think it’s important to the United States to maintain as good a relationship with Saudi Arabia as possible, and I hope we’ll defeat the resolution of disapproval of the arms sale,” McConnell told reporters, calling Saudi Arabia a good ally.

The Pentagon announced on Aug. 9 that the State Department had approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency said General Dynamics Corp would be the principal contractor for the sale.

A bipartisan group of senators, led by Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Chris Murphy, introduced a joint resolution seeking to block the arms deal, expressing concern that Saudi-led air strikes had killed civilians in Yemen, worries that the deal might fuel a regional arms race and concern that Congress was giving up its power to declare war.

“We should be part of the debate over whether or not we go to war. But then we should debate the practicalities of whether or not it’s a good idea to be involved in the war in Yemen,” Paul told .

Paul said the conflict could lead to instability and perhaps the rise of a militant group in Yemen, as Islamic State did in Syria.

The resolution also underscores concerns over what many in Congress see as Riyadh’s international promotion of a severe form of Islam they view as hostile to U.S. interests.

“We,上海足浴夜网联系方式Mace,’ve le,上海夜生活乌托邦Sabina,t them get away with it for years and years. And because they’re less bad than other people in the Middle East, we keep giving them weapons,” Paul said.

Democratic Representative Ted Lieu and Republican Representative Mick Mulvaney introduced companion legislation on Tuesday seeking to block the sale in the House of Representatives.

Lieu in August sent a letter signed by 64 lawmakers asking U.S. President Barack Obama to postpone the sale.

Separat,上海021夜网Octavien,ely, Congress could vote this week to override Obama’s promised veto of a measure allowing relatives of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue the Saudi government.

Google faces EU antitrust fine over Android case in July: sources

BRUSSELS ( ) – Google is expected to be hit with a second EU antitrust fine in mid-July for using its dominant Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, three people familiar with t,上海夜生活群Paige,he matter said.

The European Commission, which has been investigating the case involving the unit of Alphabet since 2015, could issue its decision in the week of July 9, although the timing might change.

As a deterrent to others, the EU penalty is likely to top the record 2.4-b,上海夜玩网论坛Octavien,illion-euro ($2.8 billion) fine handed out to Google last year for unfairly favoring its shopping service, sources told last year.

The EU com上海夜网petition enforcer will also tell Google to stop its anti-competitive practices such as licensing deals which prevent smartphone makers from promoting alternatives to apps such as Google Search and Maps.

Android is the most important of three EU cases against world No. 1 internet search engine Google because of its huge growth potential.

EU-mandated changes however may have little impact on Google because of its market power and the benefits of sticking with the company, industry executives, analysts and even its critics have said.

The Commission declined to comment. Google pointed to a 2016 blog by ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Fabian,its general counsel Kent Walker who rejected the EU charges.

Google recently sought a closed-door hearing in a bid to present its case to senior Commission officials and national competition agencies after being told of new details and evidence which the regulator plans to use against the company, other people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Its request was denied.

A third case where Google was accused of blocking rivals in its online AdSense search advertising in 2016 is likely to drag on to the end of the year or even later, other people said. The company has since stopped its alleged anti-competitive behavior.

Uber disabled emergency braking in self-driving car: U.S. agency

WASHINGTON ( ) – Uber had disabled an emergency braking system in a self-driving vehicle that struck and killed a woman in Arizona in March even though the car had identified the need to apply the brakes, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report released on Thursday.

The report into the first fatal crash caused by a self-driving vehicl,上海夜生活去哪玩Mace,e also disclosed that the modified 2017 Volvo XC90’s radar systems observed the pedestrian,上海夜生活服务Octavien, six seconds before impact but “the self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path.”

At 1.3 seconds before impact, the self-driving system determined emergency braking was needed. But Uber said, according to the NTSB, that automatic emergency braking maneuvers in the Volvo XC90 were disabled while the car was under computer control in order to “reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior.”

The report gives new fuel to opponents in Congress who have stalled a bill designed to speed the deployment of self-driving cars on U.S. roads and puts a spotlight on the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is also investigating, does not test self-driving vehicles or certify them before they are deployed on U.S. roads.

Uber Technologies Inc, which voluntarily suspended testing after the crash in the city of Tempe, said on Wednesday it planned to end testing in Arizona and focus on limited testing in Pittsburgh and two cities in California. Uber aims to resume its self-driving operations this summer, likely with smaller routes and fewer cars, the company said.

The company did not directly comment on the NTSB findings but noted it recently named a former NTSB chairman, Christopher Hart, to advise on Uber’s safety culture.

“As their investigation continues, we’ve initiated our own safety review of our self-driving vehicles program,” the company said on Thursday, adding it planned to announce changes in the coming weeks.

All aspects of the self-driving system were operating normally at the time of the crash, and there were no faults or diagnostic messages, the NTSB said.

Elaine Herzberg, 49, was walking her bicycle outside the crosswalk on a four-lane road when she was struck by the Uber vehicle traveling 39 miles per hour (63 kph).

A safety operator behind the wh上海夜网eel appeared to be looking down, and not at the road, moments before the crash, according to video from inside the car released by police. The operator told the NTSB she was not looking at a mobile phone but monitoring the vehicle’s self-driving systems.

Tempe police said on Wednesday it had completed its investigation and turned the findings over to prosecutors to review. Police did not release the results of the probe.

The NTSB said the Uber vehicle required the operator to intervene and take action, but the system was not designed to alert the operator. The report said the operator engaged the steering wheel less than a second before impact and began braking less than a second after impact.

The report noted that Herzberg tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana, and that she did not look in the direction of the vehicle until just before impact.

‘RECKLESS’

William Wallace, senior policy analyst for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports, called Uber “reckless” and said the NTSB report “makes it clear that a self-driving car was tested on public roads when it wasn’t safe enough to be there, and it killed a pedestrian.” He added that the system “was far too dangerous to be tested off a closed track.”

Some cities expressed hesitation about immediately allowing Uber to return to testing.

Pittsburgh mayoral spokesman Timothy McNulty said the mayor still “wants a full federal investigation of the accident and for Uber to agree to his demands specific to Pittsburgh testing before he would welcome them back to the city.”

Sacramento, California, is interested in having Uber and other developers test in the city but wants to ensure the companies follow all regulations.

“The NTSB report really shines a light on the importance of safety and security of vehicles, so I think it hardens our stance a little bit on safety and security,” said Louis Stewart, Sacramento chief innovation officer.

A spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation said on Thursday it would ensure it was satisfied with the steps Uber has taken to ensure the safety of its automated vehicles, before resuming testing in Toronto.

Arizona’s governor in March suspended Uber’s permit for the testing, citing safety concerns.

Uber has said it considers self-driving technology important to the future of its ride services, alth,上海夜网官方网站Talon,ough it is not clear how it fits into the plans of new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi. He has revamped the company structure and cut expenses as Uber prepares for an initial public offering next year.

The NTSB did not say when it would release its final report on the accident. The agency typically issues its final conclusions at least a year after an accident.

It is also investigating a series of crashes involving Tesla Inc’s semi-autonomous “Autopilot” system after faulting the system last year after a fatal crash in Florida.

Mississippi church burned, vandalized with ‘Vote Trump’

JACKSON, Miss. ( ) – A historic black church in Mississippi was burned and spray-painted with “Vote Trump” and authorities said on Wednesday it was arson and being probed as a hate crime committed one week before the U.S. presidential election.

Greenville Fire Chief Ruben Brown Sr. told a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that investigators had determined the fire at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church was “intentionally set.”

“Samples and evidence have been collected from inside the church and are being analyzed to determine the accelerant or ignition source,” Brown said.

Earlier in the day he said no one was injured in the Tuesday evening blaze, but the church was exten,上海新夜网龙凤Hadley,sively damaged.

“We’re investigating this as a hate crime,” Greenville Police Chief Delando Wilson told a news conference early on Wednesday. “We feel that the quote on the church is intimidating.

“It tries to push your beliefs on ,上海夜生活网419Naia,someone e,上海夜生活乌托邦Barbara,lse, and this is a predominantly black church and no one has a right to try to influence the way someone votes in this election.”

Wilson told the Wall Street Journal that police on Wednesday evening were interviewing a “person of interest” in connection with the fire but the individual had not been charged.

Wilson did not immediately return a call or email.

Black churches in the U.S. South have long been a base of support for the Democratic Party.

During the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, southern black churches were often targets for arson and bombings by white supremacists.

“The FBI Jackson Division is aware of the situation in Greenville, and we are working with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to determine if any civil rights crimes were committed,” the agency said in a statement.

“This act is a direct assault of people’s right to freely worship,” Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons said in a statement.

The town of some 33,000 people is about 100 miles (160 kms) northwest of Jackson.

“The act that happened left our hearts broken,” Pastor Carolyn Hudson told the news conference, noting that the church has a 111-year history.

The Mississippi Republican Party declined to comment.

In October, the Ora上海夜生活论坛nge County Republican Party’s office in Hillsborough, North Carolina, was set on fire and a graffiti message left nearby said “leave town or else.”

No arrests have been made in that incident, which Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential candidate, called “political terrorism.”

Britain clears way for Murdoch to battle Comcast for Sky

LONDON ( ) – Rupert Murdoch faces a 22 billion pound ($29.3 billion) fight with U.S. cable company Com上海夜生活cast for European pay-TV company Sky after Britain cleared his bid providing he sells off its TV news business.

A sale of Sky News to Disney or another third party would be enough to allay concerns over the 87-year-old media mogul’s influence, Britain said on Tuesday.

Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox launched a 10.75 pound-a-share bid to buy all of Sky in December 2016, but the takeover has been held up by politicians and regulators who fear it will give him too much sway when combined with his newspaper interests.

Comcast took advantage of the delay to make its own move on Sky, with a 12.50 pounds-a-share bid in April trumping the long-standing Fox offer.

Shares in Sky rose 0.3 percent to 13.54 pounds, indicating that investors think the drama has a long way to run.

Analysts at Credit Suisse said that with Fox having pursued Sky for 16 months through a long regulatory process, they would expect it to make an increased bid for Sky in excess of the Comcast bid.

“In our view the Sky share price is already anticipating such an outcome with the shares closing on June 4 at 13.50 pounds, 8 percent ahead of the Comcast bid,” they said.

Even if Fox beats Comcast, Murdoch’s control of the whole group is un,上海会所夜网Octavia,likely to last long because he has ,上海021夜网Hadleigh,agreed to sell many of his TV and film assets, including Sky, to Walt Disney Co in a separate $52 billion deal.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock said Fox’s final proposal made to divest Sky News to Disney, or to an alternative suitable buyer, with funding secured for at least 10 years, was likely to be the best remedy for the public interest concerns that had been identified.

But he said he needed to be sure that Sky News remained financially viable over the long term, was able to operate as a major UK-based news provider and was able to take its editorial decisions independently.

The extra commitments will be the subject of consultation in the next 15 days with a view to agreeing an acceptable remedy, he said.

“I am optimistic that we can achieve this goal, not least given the willingness 21st Century Fox has shown in developing these credible proposals,” he told lawmakers.

Disney,上海夜生活网419Kaiden, said it welcomed the announcement and was ready for any discussions requested by the UK secretary.

COMCAST CLEARED

Comcast announced its firm offer for Sky in April, resulting in Sky’s independent board members withdrawing their recommendation of the offer from Fox, which already owns 39 percent of Sky.

Hancock confirmed on Tuesday that he would not intervene in regards to Comcast, either on the grounds of broadcasting standards or on media plurality.

Sky was formed in 1990 when Murdoch merged his fledgling British satellite TV service with a rival.

The company is chaired by Murdoch’s son James, who played a key role in building the company into a major European broadcaster with operations in Germany, Austria and Italy as well as Britain.

Its customer base now numbers nearly 23 million homes, a major prize for media groups that want to scale up against online groups Netflix and Amazon.

The already complex deal permutations around Sky became even more complicated last month when Comcast said it was preparing a higher, all-cash offer for all of the assets Fox had agreed to sell to Disney.

Fox welcomed Hancock’s announcement, and noted that it had already proposed divesting the platform’s 24-hour news channel to Disney regardless of the fate of its bid for the wider Fox assets.

“We now look forward to engaging with DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) and we are confident that we will reach a final decision clearing our transaction,” Fox said in a statement.

Sky noted the decision regarding both Fox and Comcast, and said its independent directors were mindful of their fiduciary duties and remained focused on maximising value for Sky shareholders.

Hancock’s decision came after an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) into whether controlling Sky would give Murdoch, who also owns the Times and Sun newspapers, too much influence on Britain’s news media.

Putin rejects accusations of meddling in U.S. election

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW ( ) – Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted on Wednesday his country was not involved in an effort to influence the U.S. presidential election even as WikiLeaks released another trove of internal documents from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

,上海夜生活服务Fabiana,Last week, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of launching a hacking campaign to “interfere with the U.S. election process.”

Clinton’s campaign, which has charged the Kremlin is trying to help Republican Donald Trump win the White House on Nov. 8, took its allegations a step further on Tuesday when John Podesta, chairman of the Democratic nominee’s campaign, accused the Trump campaign of colluding with Russia.

At events in Florida, Trump said he had nothing to do with Putin or Russia.

“I promise you, I don’t have any business deals with Russia,” Trump said at a rally in Lakeland.

In Moscow, Putin said nothing in the hacking scandal is in Russia’s interests and accused all sides in the U.S. presidential campaign of misusing rhetoric about Russia for their own purposes.

“They started this hysteria, saying this (hacking) is in Russia’s interests, but this has nothing to do with Russia’s interests,” Putin told a business forum.

Putin said his government would work with whoever won the U.S. election, “if, of course, the new U.S. leader wishes to work with our country.”

WikiLeaks, the organization started by Julian Assange that publishes leaked information on the internet, this week released thousands of emails from Podesta’s email account and has not said how it obtained them. Last week, it posted excerpts from Clinton’s private speeches to banking and financial firms.

The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the messages.

The leaks, coming as the election campaign reaches the final stretch, have the potential to embarrass the Clinton camp. In recent days, however, Trump’s own campaign has be上海夜生活论坛en in deeper trouble over the emergence of a 2005 video in which Trump bragged about groping women. Many Republican elected officials have turned their back on him and Clinton’s lead in national opinion polls has increased.

Trump escalated his attacks on U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday, deepening a fracture in the Republican Party.

Clinton, a former secretary of state, has repeatedly accused Trump of having ove,上海夜网千花Dallas,rly friendly ties with Putin and Russia.

She has noted that Trump’s foreign policies have tended to align with Russian’s interests, whether it has been questioning NATO’s role in defending Eastern Europe, failing to ,上海凤楼夜网Fabi,recognize Russia’s intrusion into Ukraine, and supporting Russia’s actions in Syria.

Trump, a New York businessman who has never previously run for office, has shifted his policies on a wide range of issues, from taxes to the minimum wage to immigration during his White House campaign but his statements on Russia have been consistent. His friendly stance toward Moscow departs from the views of many prominent Republicans.

During a presidential debate on Sunday, Trump publicly disagreed with his own vice presidential choice, Mike Pence, who had called for a more hawkish approach toward Russia.

“I DON’T KNOW PUTIN”

At that debate, Trump questioned whether Russia was behind the hacks, as the U.S. government has asserted. And on Wednesday, during a rally in Ocala, Florida, Trump echoed those remarks.

“Have you ever noticed, anything that goes wrong they blame Russia?” Trump told the crowd. “They always blame Russia and then they says Donald Trump is friends . . . I don’t know Putin, folks. What the hell do I have to do with Putin?”

Trump has said that as president he would seek warmer relations with Russia and that it would be in the United States’ best interests to seek Russia’s help to defeat Islamic State.

“Trump is the most pro-Russian presidential candidate ever,” said Max Boot, a senior fellow for national security studies at the Council of Foreign Relations. “Putin no doubt sees a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reorient U.S. foreign policy in his direction by electing Trump.”

A Russian ultra-nationalist ally of Putin who is known for his fiery rhetoric said Trump was the only person able to de-escalate dangerous tensions between Moscow and Washington, and predicted nuclear war if Clinton were elected.

“Relations between Russia and the United States can’t get any worse. The only way they can get worse is if a war starts,” Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a flamboyant veteran lawmaker, told .

Clinton campaign chairman Podesta said on Tuesday the FBI was investigating a “criminal hack” of his emails, and he tied the Trump campaign to the leaks by suggesting that a former Trump adviser, Roger Stone, had advance warning of the hacks.

The Trump campaign has not responded to the allegation about Stone, but Trump has denied any coordination with the Russian government to embarrass Clinton.

He has, however, made clear he supports WikiLeaks’ efforts. “I love WikiLeaks,” he said at a rally in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

The United States has an ongoing criminal investigation into Assange’s publishing of classified material. Clinton has been a fierce critic of Assange, who remains at the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he sought refuge in 2012 to avoid possible extradition to Sweden.

Last week, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security said the government was confident the hacks of Democratic political groups and campaign officials originated from high levels of the Russian government.

The White House on Tuesday promised a “proportional” response to Russia over the hacks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told CNN the United States has offered no proof of his government’s involvement, and suggested Moscow was unconcerned about possible reprisals.

“If they decided to do something, let them do it,” Lavrov said.

Tech leads Wall Street’s advance after strong jobs data

( ) – Wall Street stocks rose on Friday after the latest monthly jobs report pointed to strength in the U.S. economy and geopolitical tensions eased.

Technology stocks led the rally, with gains in heavyweight companies such as Apple (AAPL.O), Microsoft (MSFT.O) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) lifting the S&P 500 tech index .SPLRCT to a record high.

Government data showed that in May the U.S. economy added 223,000 nonfarm jobs and average hourly wages increased 0.3 percent, both topping economist estimates. The unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent. Data on construction spending and industrial production also pointed to accelerating economic growth.

Markets got a reprieve as Italy installed a coalition government, removing the risk of a repeat vote dominated by debate on whether the country would quit the euro.

Further calming geopolitical concerns, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the resumption of plans for a summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un on June 12.

“The Trump economy continues to work very, very well,” said Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco. “It’s good news for the market.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 219.37 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,635.21, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 29.35 points, or 1.08 percent, to 2,734.62 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 112.22 points, or 1.51 percent, to 7,554.33.

The Cboe Volatility index .VIX, a barometer of expected near-term stock market gyrations, ended down at 13.46, its lowest closing level in a week.

For the week, the S&P rose 0.48 percent, the Dow lost 0.48 percent, and the Nasdaq gained 1.62 percent.

In the view of some investors, the strong economic data上海夜生活论坛 raised the likelihood the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates four times this year. Concerns that rising rates will dampen future growth have sent U.S. stocks tumbling ,上海夜生活乌托邦Lake,on several occasions this year. But investors said they did not find ,上海晚上耍女人的地方Fabi,Friday’s data concerning.

“The wage numbers were a little warm, but that wasn’t enough to spook people,” Massocca said.

Howev,上海021夜网Kai,er, investors are keeping an eye out on developments around trade after Washington imposed steel and aluminum tariffs on imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union.

Canada and Mexico retaliated, targeting U.S. steel and aluminum imports and products such as whiskey and blue jeans.

Tech stocks, which led gains on Friday, may be somewhat insulated from those trade risks. The Nasdaq was just over 1 percent away from a record high as tech stocks largely cushioned the index in the past week even while the broader markets suffered. By comparison, the S&P 500 was 4.8 percent off its Jan. 26 peak.

“Tech isn’t in the headlines as groups that are going to be impacted by what’s going on with regards to tariffs in the EU, whereas others are,” said Daniel Morgan, portfolio manager at Synovus Trust in Atlanta.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.47-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.41-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 28 new 52-week highs and eight new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 181 new highs and 42 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 7.04 billion shares, compared with the 6.61 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Disney animation chief, Pixar co-founder Lasseter to quit after…

( ) – Walt Disney Co animation head and co-founder of Pixar John Lasseter, regarded as a modern day Walt Disney because of his creativity and commercial success, will leave at the end of the year, the company said on Friday.

Lasseter was the creative force behind movie hits like “Toy Story,” “Frozen,” and “Finding Nemo,” that won Academy Awards and reaped billions of dollars at the box office.

Friday’s decision, announced in a Disney statement, followed a six month leave of absence by Lasseter after what he called “missteps,” including unwanted hugs that made employees uncomfortable.

“Following his sabbatical, John La上海夜生活网sseter will assume a consulting role at The Walt Disney Company until December 31, 2018, at which time he will be leaving the company,” Disney said.

Disney did not announce a replacement but Chief Executive Bob Iger noted in the statement that Lasseter had assembled “a team of great storytellers and innovators with the vision and talent to set the standard in animation for generations to come.”

Lasseter,上海夜生活群Balthazar,, 61, said in the statement that “the last six months have provided an opportunity to reflect on my life, career and personal priorities.”

“While I remain dedicated to the art of animation and inspired by the creative talent at Pixar and Disney, I have decided the end of this year is the right time to begin focusing on new creative challenges,” he added.

Lasseter joined the company in 2006 when Disney bought Pixar Animation Studios.

A pioneer in computer animation, Lasseter was the driving creative force behind Disney’s success in animated films over the past decade. He is chief creative officer of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Disney animation and Pixar films have sold roughly $14 billion worth of tickets worldwide since Lasseter joined Disney, according to a analysis of data from the Box Office Mojo website.

Lasseter took his leave after a report in the Hollywood Reporter last November that said some women at Disney had been made uncomfortable by physical contact from him.

He apologized in November in a memo to employees who felt “disrespected or uncomfortable,” but said his intent was “benign.”

Multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against entertainers, businessmen and politicians in the past year have led to many being fired or to resignations. The scandal inspired a widespread #,上海夜生活网419Jace,MeToo social media movement by victims of sexual harassment or abuse.

Lasseter was absent earlier this week from the world premiere in Hollywood for Pixar’s next release, “The Incredibles 2” on June 15.

Online ticket sel,上海021夜网Dakota,ler Fandango said this week that the movie is on pace to become its biggest animated pre-seller ever.

Written by shyw on December 26, 2018 Categories: yvrafybo Tags: , , ,

House committee launches review of FDA criminal office

WASHINGTON ( ) – A U.S. congressional committee has launched an examination of the Food and Drug Administration’s criminal office, raising ,上海夜网邀请码Cade,questions about the unit’s management and handling of cases involving food, drugs and devices.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee told FDA Commissioner Robert Califf it is “examining management concerns” and “possible morale concerns with the field offices” of the Office of Criminal Investigations. The September 20 letter, signed by committee chairman Fred Upton and Tim Murphy, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, seeks answers to a detailed list of questions by October 12.

Among other issues, the House committee questions why George Karavetsos, director of the Rockville, Maryland-based FDA criminal office, is allowed to run the unit from an office in South Florida, near his home.

An FDA spokeswoman said the agency received the letter and will respond to the committee directly.

The House questions come two weeks after reported how some FDA agents complain criminal office managers have forced them to pursue cases involving mislabeled foreign-imported injectable drugs, at the expense of cases with more potential to protect the public health.

Current and former agents complain they have turned into the “Botox Police,” spending tho,上海仙霞路夜生活Queena,usands of hours chasing doctors who purchased authentic versions of Allergan’s anti-wrinkle drug that were labeled for use in other countries.

Some agents say their efforts have done little more than protect the pharmaceutical industry’s high drug prices in the United States.

Those concerns come as the criminal office has had mixed success in bringing cases. From fiscal year 2008-2015, found, more than half of all opened OCI cases were closed without action.

The House committee asked Califf to explain the process for how criminal cases get opened, and to provide statistics on OCI’s arrests, convictions, case initiations and amount of money recovered.

also reported on Karavetsos’ relocation to Florida, a move that came less than two years after the FDA paid more than $25,000 to move him to Maryland.

Karavetsos, in a prior interview, defended the office’s efforts, saying statistics are not a fair measure of OCI’s success because public health and safety will “always trump the criminal investigation.”

FDA Regulatory Affairs Associate Commissioner Melinda Plaisier defended Karavetsos’ move to Miami, saying it was good for上海夜网 the FDA and his family.

The House committee letter also questions how the FDA responded to two prior reports, from the Government Accountability Office and the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, that were critical of the criminal office.

The 2012 OIG report cited problems with how the Rockville-based office is run and concluded that field offices “lack the discretion” to open cases to address “food and drug concerns prevalent in their locales.”

The report cited a lack of independence within the FDA’s criminal office. OCI is housed within the Office of Regulatory Affairs, which is responsible for compliance inspections and helps determine the criminal office’s budget. The inspector general recommended structural changes to “ensure the independence of investigations.”

FDA leadership at that time rejected those suggestions.

The criminal office headquarters controls the opening of investigations. Some agents have questioned the office’s priorities and say they have, on occasion, been told not to open cases involving other federal agencies.

A September 2015 email from Robert West, the recently retired Special Agent in Charge of the Miami field office, is one example.

West, in the email, contended agencies including the FBI, the HHS OIG and Homeland Security investigators “were riding our coattails and were not bringing anything to the table.”

Involving those agencies in an investigation from day one, he wrote, “is unacceptable.”

West previously declined interview requests. could not immediately reach ,夜上海论坛Cain,him Tuesday through an FDA spokeswoman.

Alibaba’s Cainiao JV to invest $1.53 billion in Hong Kong logistics…

SHANGHAI ( ) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (BABA.N) logistics affiliate said on Wednesday that it would lead a joint venture to invest $1.53 billion in a new logistics center at Hong Kong’s airport as part of its efforts to expand its global delivery network.

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network will take a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, while Chinese state investment firm China National Aviation Corp (Group) and courier YTO Expre,上海夜生活男人好去处Gabriella,ss (600233.SS) (6123.HK) will each hold 35 percent and 14 percent, respectively, Cainiao said in a statement.

It said that the center, which will cover an estimated gross floor area of 380,000 square meters, is expected to be able to handle 1.7 million tonnes of carg上海夜生活o per annum at full capacity after it opens in 2023.

“The Hong Kong hub will be yet another ,上海夜生活网419Cain,milestone on our way to achieving our goal of 72-hour global delivery,” Cainiao President Wan Lin said.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba took control of Cainiao last September and pledged to spend 100 billion yuan ($15 billion) over five ye,上海凤楼夜网Dallas,ars to build out a global logistics network.

Cainiao already has three fulfillment centers in Hong Kong and last week said that it planned to open logistic hubs in Dubai, Hangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Liège in Belgium and Moscow.

Uber, Waymo in talks about self-driving partnership: Uber CEO

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, Calif. ( ) – Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] is talking with Alphabet Inc’s autonomous driving unit Waymo about using its technology on Uber’s ride-hailing app, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said on Wednesday, signaling a possible thaw in relations between the firms.

Khosrowshahi said on stage at the Code Conference that Uber’s relationship with Waymo was “getting better” since Uber in February agreed to pay Waymo $245 million in shares to settle a legal dispute over trade secrets.

“We’re having discussions with Waymo. If something happens, great. If not, we can live with that, too,” Khosrowshahi said.

Waymo is an “incredible technology provider” and having it on Uber’s network would be a good thing, he上海夜生活网 added.

Waymo declined to comment. It has, though, proceeded with plans to operate without Uber’s help, developing a fleet of cars that it said has self-driven 6 million miles on public roads.

In a lawsuit filed last year, Waymo said that one of its former engineers,上海夜生活Radcliff, who became chief of Uber’s self-driving car project took with him thousands of confidential documents. The lawsuit cost Uber both time and money in its self-driving car development.

Khosrowshahi said he believes the technology behind autonomous driving will be shared, and that any company such as Waymo that wants to lead the sector will need to partner with Uber because of Uber’s network of smartphone users.

Waymo plans to roll out an app-based service this year offering rides to passengers in a fully self-drivin,上海夜生活去哪玩Idaline,g Waymo car with no driver. It also has a partnership with Lyft Inc, a rival of Uber.

Uber plans to restart its own self-driving car operation in the coming months, Khosrowshahi said. The company shut down testing in Arizona this month after a fatal crash involving one of its vehicles. ,上海夜网推油Hadley,

“We will get back on the road over the summer,” he said, adding that the fatal episode eventually “is going to make us a better company”.

Written by shyw on November 30, 2018 Categories: yvrafybo Tags: , , ,

OPEC likely to reject Iran request for discussion of U.S. sanctions

DUBAI ( ) – OPEC is likely to reject a request by Iran to discuss U.S. sanctions against Tehran at this month’s meeting of the oil producer group, a source familiar with the matter told .

Iran’s OPEC governor Hossein Kazempour Ardebili asked the chairman of the OPEC board to include a sanctions debate in the agenda for the June 22 talks, according to a copy of Kazempour’s letter dated June 2 and seen by .

Last month, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh asked OPEC to support it against new U.S. sanctions and signaled Tehran disagreed with Saudi Arabia’s views on the possible need to increase global oil supplies.

“I would like to … seek OPEC’s support in accordance with Article 2 of the OPEC Statute, which emphasizes safeguarding the interests of member countries individua,上海夜生活去哪玩Queena,lly and collectively,” Zanganeh wrote last month in a letter to his United Ara,上海夜生活论坛Kailani,b Emirates counterpart, who holds the OPEC presidency in 2018.

U.S. President Donald Trump last month pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, announcing the “highest level” of sanctions against the OPEC member. Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Oil ministers from OPEC will be meeting at the group’s Vienna headquarters to discuss output policy.

Kazempour, citing Zanganeh’s letter, asked the board to include in the June talks an agenda item titled “OPEC Ministerial Conference support to the Member Countries that are under illegal, unilateral and extraterr上海夜网itorial sanctions”.

The source said that after receiving Kazempour’s request, the UAE’s OPEC governor Ahmed al-Kaabi sought the advice of legal counsel.

The counsel responded negatively to Iran’s plea, the source said, on the grounds that the minister,上海夜生活群Gabrielle,ial agenda could not be amended because it had been finalised.

Earlier on Friday, Kazempour said a U.S. request for Saudi Arabia to pump more oil so that it could cover a drop in Iranian exports and ease a rise oil prices was “crazy and astonishing” and said OPEC would not heed the appeal.

“Consumers are now acting to use oil as a political weapon, and yet blaming us (of) fixing) (oil) prices? Such an upside down world,” Kazempour told .

‘No doubt’ Russia behind hacks on U.S. election system: senior…

WASHINGTON ( ) – A senior Democratic lawmaker said Sunday he had “no doubt” that Russia was behind recent hacking attempts targeting state election systems, and urged the Obama administration to publicly blame Moscow for trying to undermine confidence in,上海夜网千花Pamela, the Nov. 8 presidential contest.

The remarks from Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, come amid heightened concerns among U.S. and state上海夜网 officials about the security of voting machines and databases, and unsubstantiated allegations from Republican candidate Donald Trump that the election could be “rigged.”

“I have no doubt [this is Russia]. And I don’t think the administration has any doubt,” Schiff said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”

Schiff’s call to name and shame the Kremlin came a week after Trump questioned widely held conclusions made privately by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia is responsible for the hacking activity.

“It could be Russia, but it could also be China,” Trump said during a televised debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “It also could be somebody sitting on their bed ,上海夜生活网交流Macauly,that weighs 400 pounds.”

On Saturday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said hackers have probed the voting systems of many U.S. states but there is no sign that they have manipulated any voting data.

Schiff said he doubted hackers could falsify vote tallies in a way to affect the election outcome. Officials and experts have said the decentralized and outdated nature of U.S. voting technology makes such hacks more unlikely.

But cyber attacks on voter registration systems could “sow discord” on election day, Schiff said. He further added that leaks of doctored emails would be difficult to disprove and could “be election altering.”

The National Security Agency, FBI and DHS all concluded weeks ago that Russian intelligence agencies conducted, directed or coordinated all the major cyberattacks on U.S. political organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, and individuals, a U.S. official w,上海晚上耍女人的地方Falkner,ho is participating in the investigations said on Sunday.

    However, the official said, White House officials have resisted naming the Russians publicly because doing so could result in escalating cyberattacks, and because it is considered impossible to offer public, unclassified proof of the allegation.

Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the U.S. Senate intelligence committee, said last month they had concluded Russian intelligence agencies were “making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election.”

Italy’s Illycaffe launches cold coffee as Starbucks looms

MILAN ( ) – Italian premium coffee maker illycaffe will launch hand-pulled cold coffee this summer, in a sign it is feeling the pressur,上海夜生活服务Tallulah,e as coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX.O) prepares to debut in its home turf.

The family-owned company said on Thursday it would sell a cold brew, a trendy favorite of young consumers, in its own cafes and other food outlets in Italy.

In the country, the world’s fourth b,上海高端夜生活在那里Cadence,iggest coffee market in term of number of cups drunk, several mid-sized domestic roasters including illycaffe sell their coffee mainly through independent cafes and supermarkets.

The arrival of Starbucks, which plans to open its first Italian store in Milan in September, ramps up the competition in Italy as coffeemakers chase the growing number of consumers prepared to pay a premium for quality coffee.

Cold coffee is considered key to attracting new consumers and global maker leader Nestle (NESN.S) signaled the appeal for this product last September when it bought cold-brewed coffees specialist Blue Bottle Coffee in the United States.

Illycaffe’s new drink is made through a slow extraction of coffee at,上海夜生活群Fabiana, a cold temperature.

Illycaffe, which produces and sells only one blend made of nine varieties of Arabica beans, is the third-bigges上海夜生活论坛t coffee maker in Italy with sales of nearly 500 million euros ($590 million)last year.

The group has a network of 244 mono-brand stores and cafes in more than 40 countries around the world.

American Airlines warns of fare increases if oil remains high

SYDNEY ( ) – American Airlines (AAL.O) warned airline passengers may ev,上海凤楼夜网Jack,entually face higher ticket prices if oil prices remain high, prompting carriers to remove seats from the market.

Oil prices have risen around 50 percent compared to the levels seen last year and that is putting pressure on airline profits.

“If it becomes clear this is the new normal you would see over time less capacity and growth in the industry and therefore higher prices, but I don’t think that’上海夜生活网s going to happen in the near term,” CEO Doug Parker told reporters on the sidelines of the annual IATA meeting of airline executives in Sydney.

IATA, which represents about 280 airlines comprising 83 percent of global air traffic, has said that on Monday it will revise down its forecast for industry profitability this year due to higher oil, infrastructure and labor costs.

The United States last month agreed a deal with the United Arab Emirates and in January with Qatar to resolve claims from the three largest U.S. carriers that Gulf airlines had received unfair government subsidies.

Parker said he was pleased with the result of the talks but needed to see more from the Gulf carriers before American Airlines could consider partnerships with them.

“We haven’t had enough time to make sure that those resolutions have the effect that we hope for, so we shall see,” he said.

Qatar Airways had plans to buy a stake in American Airlines last year, but reversed that decision, saying an investment did not meet its objectives. American Airlines executiv,上海高端夜生活在那里Barney,es had opposed the share buy.

When asked on Sunday whether he would be open to investments from Gulf airlines further down the line, Parker said American Airlines did not need such transactions. He added, however: “We are open to investments from everybody.”

(Clarifies U.S.-Qatar ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Jace,deal signed in January in paragraph 5.)

U.S. election largely peaceful, despite intimidation, glitches

WASHINGTON/PHILADELPHIA ( ) – Voters and civil rights groups reported long lines, isolated cases of malfunctioning equipment and some harassment at polling places in Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election but fears of widespread violence at the polls did not materialize.

Nationwide, civil rights groups logged unusual levels of voter intimidation complaints, receiving about 35,000 calls through a national voter complaint hotline as of Tuesday evening. Democratic Party officials, however, said they did not see systemic voter suppression efforts.

Civil rights groups, who have enlisted 7,000 volunteers, said 40 percent of the calls they had received through the telephone hotline by early afternoon were from African-American and Latino voters.

Complaints of voter intimidation were especially prevalent in Florida, Georgia, Ohio and Arizona with a disproportionate share coming from minority voters.

“We are hearing more complaints about voter intimidation than we have in presidential cycles from prior years,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly said the e上海夜生活lection would be “rigged” and called on his supporters to watch for signs of fraud in urban areas, raising fears they could clash with minority voters. Numerous studies have found that voter fraud is exceedingly rare in the United States.

VOTER INTIMIDATION

Absent on Tuesday were reports of the kind of hostile political displays, vandalism and violence that have cropped up regularly throughout the campaign. A polling station was locked down in Southern California after one person was killed and three wounded by gunfire but police saw no immediate indication the incident was linked to Election Day.

But isolated reports of voter intimidation and harassment flooded the voter c,上海夜生活Jacklyn,omplaint hotline run by a coalition of civil rights groups throughout the day.

An African-American voter called the hotline from Alabama’s Shelby County to report that a white poll worker had indicated she would have to wash her hands after handling the voter’s photo identification card.

Shelby County lawyers persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 to strike down a key provision of the landmark Voting Rights Act requiring states with a history of voter discrimination to get federal clearance for changes to their election laws.

Clarke said many voter complaints to the hotline came from states formerly covered by that provision.

Some voters in Florida reported a heavy, unexplained police presence at several polling sites around the state. A group of students in the state were told their votes would not count because their college dormitory was considered a hotel.

In Ohio’s Franklin County, the hotline received complaints that Somali-American voters were told they would have to vote provisiona,上海新夜网龙凤Nadia,lly because their addresses did not match their identification cards – and then were told that the polling site had run out of provisional ballots.

In Georgia’s DeKalb County, a group calling itself Defenders of Democracy was pressuring voters in line to fill out sample ballots and sign pledges that they would cast the same votes on the real ballot, according to reports received by the hotline.

The federal government reduced its election monitoring program in the wake of a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that weakened federal oversight of states with a history of racial discrimination. Revised voting laws and lengthy court battles in many states also have left voters uncertain about when and where they can cast their ballot and whether they will need to present photo identification.

A Nevada judge on Tuesday rejected a request from Trump for records from a Las Vegas polling place that his campaign said had improperly remained open last week to accommodate people who were lined up to vote. The judge agreed with a county attorney who argued that election officials already preserve records.

MACHINE GLITCHES

Malfunctioning machines dominated voter complaints out of Pennsylvania, Arizona, New York, North Carolina and Virginia.

Trump cited reports that polling machines were switching votes for Republican candidates to votes for Democrats as cause for concern that the election outcome might not be valid, once again warning of a rigged system.

Speaking to Fox News, Trump provided no evidence to support the allegations or say where polling machines were breaking down, al,上海夜生活桑拿会所Ebba,though there were some problems in Pennsylvania.

Voters in at least four Pennsylvania counties said touch-screen voting machines were mistakenly switching votes. State officials, however, said they did not believe any ballots had been wrongly counted as a result of the machine malfunctions.

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that relies on electronic voting machines without a paper backup that would allow officials to double-check the outcome if it is challenged.

The machines can record votes incorrectly if they are not calibrated properly, a problem that is magnified as the screens degrade with age.

But ES&S, the company that makes the machines, said voters have a chance to confirm their choices before they cast their ballot, making it impossible for the machine to flip a vote from one candidate to another. Local officials test machines to make sure they are calibrated properly before each election.

The Philadelphia district attorney’s office, which monitors voting in the state’s largest city, said on Twitter it was not receiving any complaints out of the ordinary.

Electronic voting rolls in Durham County, North Carolina, malfunctioned early on Tuesday, prompting the county to ask the state board of elections to extend voting hours in eight precincts until 9 p.m., an hour and a half later than they were supposed to be open.

The state elections board on Tuesday evening agreed to extend voting hours in the precincts by between 20 and 60 minutes.

Written by shyw on June 16, 2018 Categories: yvrafybo Tags: , ,

Australia threatens ANZ, Deutsche and Citi with criminal charges…

SYDNEY ( ) – Australia is preparing criminal cartel charges against the country’s third-biggest bank and underwriters Deutsche Bank and Citigroup over a $2.3 billion share issue, in an unprecedented move with potential implications for global capital m,上海夜生活网419Dahlia,arkets.

The pending charges, which can carry hefty fines and 10-year prison terms, threaten to change the way institutional capital raisings are handled, and do further damage to the reputation of Australian lenders already mired in scandal.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said federal prosecutors would charge Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ.AX), its Treasurer Rick Moscati, the two investment banks and several more unnamed individuals over the 2015 stock placement.

All three banks denied wrongdoing and vowed to defend the charges, with Citigroup saying the regulator was effectively criminalizing practices long seen as the norm in the financial industry.

“The charges will involve alleged cartel arrangements relating to trading in ANZ shares following an ANZ institutional share placement in August 2015,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

“It will be alleged that ANZ and the individuals were knowingly concerned in some or all of the conduct.”

The third underwriter, JP Morgan, was not named by the regulator as a target and declined to comment.

Australia has some of the toughest anti-cartel laws in the world, however the decision to pursue criminal charges surprised experts given they are harder to prosecute than civil charges.

Related CoverageCitigroup denies criminal cartel allegations expected in AustraliaDeutsche Bank says it will defend itself against cartel charges in AustraliaSee more stories

The move was “almost unique” in Australian corporate history and indicated prosecutors had a high level of confidence in their case, said Andrew Grant, a banking expert at the University of Sydney Business School.

ANZ shares were 2 percent lower on Friday afternoon, while other banks were down less than 1 percent. The broader market was down 0.2 percent.

Rating agency Moody’s said on Friday the charges were “credit negative” for ANZ.

THE CAPITAL RAISING

In 2015, Australian banks were under pressure to meet new capital requirements, prompting ANZ and larger rival Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) to raise a combined A$8 billion in a single week.

The lead managers did not disclose they kept about 25.5 million shares of the 80.8 million shares issued上海夜网, ANZ said on Friday, a fact that is being investigated separately by the corporate regulator.

The Australian Shareholders’ Association said the pending charges should trigger reforms to capital raising procedures to ,上海夜生活网交流Talon,ensure greater transparency and prevent investment banks profiting from share sales while retail investors have their holdings diluted.

As new bank equity flooded the market, ANZ shares closed 7.5 percent lower on Aug. 7, 2015, when the Melbourne-based lender announced it had completed the institutional component of the raising, according to a analysis.

ANZ shares took over a year to recover to their pre-raising value of A$32.58.

The joint underwriters allegedly reached an understanding on the disposal of shares, prompting the cartel criminal charges, Citigroup (C.N) said on Friday.

“Underwriting syndicates exist to provide the capacity to assume risk and to underwrite large capital raisings, and have operated successfully in Australia in this manner for decades,” the New York-headquartered investment bank said.

Criminal charges for share underwriters had never been considered by an Australian court and had never been addressed in guidance notes published ,上海夜生活群Daisy,by regulators, it added.

“If the ACCC believes there are matters to address, these should be clarified by law or regulation or consultation,” it said.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) said it was cooperating with investigators and took its responsibilities “extremely seriously”.

Caron Beaton-Wells, a professor of competition law at University of Melbourne, said the ACCC and the prosecutor would only bring criminal charges if they were satisfied they would be proven.

“The ACCC has long said … that the most potent deterrent for cartel conduct is a potential jail term,” Beaton-Wells said.

“I don’t think it’s a sudden decision to ramp up, just that it’s taken a long time to find conduct for proceeding criminally.”

The development compounds a publicity nightmare for Australia’s biggest financial firms as they grapple with almost daily allegations of wrongdoing at a public inquiry which is scheduled to run to the end of the year.

Barristers for the inquiry have raised the prospect of criminal charges against the country’s top wealth manager, AMP Ltd (AMP.AX), over allegations it misled the corporate regulator.

No. 1 lender Commonwealth Bank is also facing a separate civil lawsuit alleging thousands of breaches of anti-money laundering protocols.

The allegations against some of Australia’s biggest companies and most-traded stocks have sparked several class action law suits designed to compensate investors who lost out as a result of poor banking and fund manager practices.

Airbus sales chief defiant on A330neo demand as Boeing seals new win

SYDNEY ( ) – The head of airplane sales at Airbus (AIR.PA) dismissed concerns about a sharp drop in orders for the A330neo jet and predicted European wide-body demand would start to recover this year as rival Boeing extended a series of wins in the lucrative segment.

“The world is still full of opportunities in terms of wide-bodies. We have a lost a couple of campaigns in the West and there are other campaigns around the world. I am not personally in a panicking mode about the A330neo,” Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz told on Monday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an airlines meeting in Sydney, Schulz declined to give a numerical sales target for 2018 wide-body orders but said, “,上海021夜网Barney,We will see, I think we will be ok. I can see from the dynamics in the market and what we have in the pipeline and what we have already negotiated.”

The A330neo is a derivative of Airbus’s most-sold wide-body jet, the A330 series, whose fortunes are widely monitored by investors as one of its two main sources of profits and cash.

Airbus h,上海夜生活网419Eden,as lost a series of U.S contests for sales of the 250-300-seat A330neo, followed by a decision set to be approved this week by the owners of India’s Vistara to order six Boeing (BA.N) 787s instead of A330neos, two industry sources said. The same airline may expand a leased fleet of A320neos.

Airbus and Boeing declined to comment and Vistara did not respond to a request to comment on the order, reported earlier by Bloomberg News.

Demand for wide-body jets has weakened recently because of oversupply, but Boeing has extended a traditional lead in that part of the market thanks,上海夜生活论坛Earl, to a spate of orders for its 787 and a rebound in 777 demand, assisted by a recovery in freight demand.

Airbus typically sells 4 in 10 big jets but reaped just 16 percent of wide-body orders between January and April. Adjusted for cancellations, net orders slumped into negative territory.

Analysts say a U.S. decision to revoke export licenses for jets sold to Iran, after pulling out of an international nuclear sanctions deal, could deepen Airbus’s wide-body woes since IranAir’s order for 100 jets had included 28 A330neos.

Schulz said Airbus would not immediately reflect the collapse of the Iran deal in its order book as it uses a grace period for U.S. licenses to “study the political situation”.

Still, industry watchers say the European firm has 16 unfilled production slots for A330s in 2019, raising the prospect of further output cuts if it does not win new sales.

Airbus hopes China could be a promising market.

Schulz said one factor weighing on A330neo sales was the relatively young age of many of the previous A330 models in service, meaning some operators were not yet ready to upgrade.

“I believe that especially for people who are operating the A330, the A330neo is a nice and easy transition towards an aircraft that generates very good efficiency,” he said.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday higher fuel prices were supporting new aircraft demand and that the average size of aircraft was rising. Schulz said on the sidelines of IATA’s annual meeting that wide-body jet demand would soon recover to reflect the underlying fundamentals.

“The market is not that fast but I can sense talking to the airlines that within the next 18 months上海夜生活论坛 to 2 years we will have much more dynamism in the market,” he said.

Written by shyw on April 15, 2018 Categories: yvrafybo Tags: , , ,